On May 11 and 12, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors hosted the inaugural T&T NGO Professionals Conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The capacity-building conference was funded by RPA clients the JB Fernandes Memorial Trusts I & II and planned and co-hosted by the Institute of International Education.
The conference was a result of a thoughtful giving and assessment program. After noticing a vital need in Trinidad and Tobago for professionalization of the NGO sector, the JB Fernandes Memorial Trusts I & II conducted an intensive feasibility and research study on the capacity and the needs of the country’s nonprofits. This assessment led the Trusts to focus their giving programs and to organize the T&T NGO Professionals Conference.
At the conference, representatives from 120 organizations had the opportunity to convene as a unified group to share experiences and best practices, hear from local and national leaders in the field, form relationships with peers, and become more actively engaged in the NGO network in Trinidad and Tobago. Workshop topics ranged from communications and volunteer management to grant writing and impact measurement. The inaugural JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad and Tobago was awarded to Vision and Mission, a rehabilitation and re-integration program for ex-prisoners in Trinidad.
In addition to support for capacity-building efforts, The JB Fernandes Memorial Trusts fund a range of initiatives to increase access to education, improve health conditions and alleviate poverty in Portugal and Trinidad and Tobago. The Trusts, which are administered by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, are the legacy of the late Trinidadian businessman Joseph Bento Fernandes.